Tag Archives: samurai

47 Ronin – “300” for Samurai?

As I reported before, Keanu Reeves wants you to know that he knows Kung Fu (sort of). But with 47 Ronin , it appears that he’s more interested in showing off his sword skills and his ability to lead a small army.

Samurai Reeves

Samurai Reeves

According to Wikipedia, in 47 Ronin:

“The outcast Kai (Reeves) joins a group of Ronin, led by Kuranosuke Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), who seeks vengeance on Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) for killing their master and banishing the group. The Ronin embark on a journey whose challenges would defeat most warriors.”

The film is loosely based off of the true story Fourty-seven Ronin of Japan.

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, you’re missing out. It looks spectacular. Although I may be a bit biased because I am a fan of Keanu’s work. With a few exceptions, I love all of his work. So needless to say, I will be seeing this film. Most likely not on Christmas but sometime after.

Even though I think this film is going to be an amazing work of cinematic art (Seriously), I’m worried about the similarities to the film 300 that I see in the trailer.

First, the small but fierce army of Samurai reclaiming their home from a much larger enemy army. It’s reminiscent of the Spartans defending their home from the Persians.

Second, Keanu fights against a sorceress-lady who turns into a dragon. It’s similar to Leonidas fighting against the somewhat god-like Xerxes.


Finally, there are some badass looking enemy Samurai that appear quite similar to the Persian Immortals from 300.

I’m not opposed to these similarities, as I did enjoy 300 immensely; I just don’t want this film to come off as a rip off. This film should be its own film, not the “Japanese” version of 300. I’ll have to wait and develop more of an opinion on the film’s similarities in the coming months as more trailers are released. Or maybe I’ll just hold off drawing any conclusions until the film is actually released.

What are your thoughts on 47 Ronin?

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the trailer:

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Keanu Wants You To Know That He Knows Kung Fu. Well…Sort Of.


Keanu says “Look at my hands!” [source: handson.provocateuse.com]

Whether you like him or not, just know that I don’t care what you think about him. I like Keanu Reeves. And in my honest opinion, he’s a fine actor and has done some amazing work. Yes, he has had his fair share of flops, but every actor has (I’m talking to you, Cage). So think what you want, it’s not going to sway my opinion.

With that being said, I’d like to quote The Matrix:

Neo: I know Kung Fu.

Morpheus: Show me.

And, if you’ve seen the film, he did show you that he knew Kung Fu. Or at least, the stylized Hollywood version of it.

Well now it seems he wants to continue to show you that he knows Kung Fu or some form of martial arts. He has two films set to release in the not-so-distant future, one directed by Keanu, both starring him, and both are martial arts films.

[source: Wikipedia.com]

The first is called 47 Ronina fictional re-telling of the real life story of the fourty-seven ronin. The story goes that a band of samurai, totaling 47, set out to avenge the murder of their master. Keanu plays one of those samurai. Yes, you heard me right, he plays one the samurai in the film. I was boggled by this as well, but then I thought that maybe his character would be like Tom Cruise’s character from The Last Samurai (which, by the way, is an outstanding flick) and I was okay with it. I didn’t know the story of the fourty-seven samurai before researching this film, so I wasn’t sure who his character was or how he actually fit into the story. Then I saw this on Wikipedia about his character, Kai:

“an outcast who joins the group of Samurai. Reeves’s character is half-Japanese and half-British; the character was created for the film.”

A-ha! He wasn’t even part of the original story. Someone was just like “Hey, let’s create a whole new character so Keanu can be in it. Who cares about historical accuracy? Psssh!” Or something of that nature, I’m sure. So now I’m kinda iffy about this film since Keanu isn’t depicting an actual samurai. I’ll probably still go see it. It is about samurai after all. Oh, and it’s in 3D!

[source: filmraps.blogspot.com]

The next film is entitled Man of Tai Chi.“In Beijing, a young martial artist’s skill places him in position to experience opportunities and sacrifices.” (via IMDB). Kinda vague, IMDB.

I wasn’t sure what to think about this film. I mean, it’s Keanu directing and supposedly starring in a martial arts film. Is he the “young martial artist”? IMDB and Wikipedia offer no clue as to what his part might be. [Editor’s note: He’s not playing the “young martial artist,” this guy is.] I was a bit worried the The Matrix had finally got to him and he thought he might actually be Neo. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical. But then I saw this:

The concept is what sold me on this film. Using that sweet 360-degree rotating camera to get angles and views from the fight scene that they would normally have to create with CGI is a phenomenal idea. No more hokey-looking fight scenes done in bad CGI a la the second and third Matrix films and Blade 2. This could be really, really good. It could also be awful, but judging by the video, I think not. And the two guys from the video are actual martial artists, not Hollywood-types who have been loosely trained, so that’s a good sign.

I’m still a bit skeptical about both films, but I’m willing to give my boy Keanu the benefit of the doubt. I mean, they can’t as bad as the last Matrix film, right?

What do you think?

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